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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

THE  GERMAN FIGURES            119

Imagine, consider the official figures, as periodically
published, as models of lucidity. Nevertheless, we
can at least claim that in this respect the figures
furnished to us by the Government during the war
have been quite as lucid as those which used to be
presented in time of peace, and it is greatly to the
credit of the Treasury that, in spite of the enormous
figures now involved by Government expenditure,
the financial statements have been published week
by week, quarter by quarter, and year by year, with
the same promptitude and punctuality that marked
their appearance in peace-time. In Germany, the
Chancellor says, it has not been the object of German
financial statements to show the financial position
quite clearly. It is, therefore, difficult to make an
exact statement, but he was able to provide the
House with a series of very interesting figures, taken
from the statements of the German Finance Ministers
themselves.

His first point is with regard to the increase of
expenditure. The alarming rate with which our
expenditure has so steadily grown appears to be
paralleled also in Germany. Up to June, 1916,
Germany's monthly expenditure was ^100 millions.
It has now risen to over 187 millions. That means
to say that their expenditure per diem is 6| millions,
almost the same as ours, although our expenditure
includes items such as separation allowances and
other matters of that kind, borne by the States and
municipalities in Germany, and so not appearing in
the German imperial figures.

As to the precise extent of the German war debt,